A CT scan (or CAT scan) stands for Computerized Axial Tomography. It is a diagnostic X-ray study that creates cross section images of various parts of the body. CT scans were first developed in the 1970's and, since that time the technology has undergone very rapid advances allowing for increasingly detailed views of the human body.
New low dose CT technology reduces radiation exposure by up to 60 percent while still producing the image quality needed for diagnosis. At Larchmont Medical Imaging your safety and comfort are vitally important to us. That’s why we’ve invested in the most advanced low-dose CT equipment available and why we employ imaging protocols that minimize radiation does as much as possible.
CT scans are non-invasive X-ray studies. They can be performed quickly with no physical discomfort. Unlike traditional X-ray studies, CT scans provide detailed view of internal organs. CT scans can sometimes establish diagnoses which in the past may have required biopsies or more invasive procedures.
At Larchmont Medical Imaging, patient safety is top priority—and that includes helping patients and their primary care clinicians manage their exposure to medical radiation for imaging exams. Click here to learn more.
Individual preparations may vary. For most CT scans of the abdomen or pelvis, you may be required to drink contrast material prior to the scan to provide good images of the intestines.
For some studies, it may be necessary to administer specialized contrast, or dye, intravenously during the scan. If IV dye is to be administered, you will need to fast prior to the scan. The specifics involved with a particular study will be determined by your doctor and the radiologist.
You should avoid wearing any metal object that will be included in the region of your body that is to be scanned. Inform you doctor of any metallic structure you may have inside your body, such as metallic plates, shrapnel, or medical devices.
Women who may be pregnant must inform their doctor.
The actual time it takes to acquire the images is usually a matter of seconds. It usually takes more time to get situated on the CT table and get everything set up for the scan. Most scans from start to finish usually takes under 10 minutes. You will be lying on a table that will slide you through a large donut shaped machine as the images are obtained. The technologist operating the scanner will be in the adjacent room, and will always have direct communication with you during the scan. If you are having the study performed with IV dye, a special injector device will be set up and connected to an IV placed in your arm by a nurse or certified technologist. After the examination is complete, the pictures will be reviewed by one of our board certified radiologists and a report will be sent to your doctor.